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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,798 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,798
Reviews: 714
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 187
Gots: 418 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,798 | Reviews: 714 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh, I'm not too impressed with this one. The nose is flat, a touch of lemon in there. It tastes like it's a cheap beer trying to look bigger than it really is. It has a pilsener taste but seems a bit chalky, with the overall flavor being, just muddled. The body is ok, and thankfully that flavor wears off eventually. Too bad I have more of these from the sample pack.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy and golden color with somewhat of a head going on. Nothing aroma wise-it is simply there, perhaps the most neutral beer I have ever smelled! Decent crisp and very clean malty flavor. Just enough hop bite to notice. Touch of residual sweetness. Grassy and somewhat corn like flavors. Ok enough mouthfeel-the nice crispness really sets the tone here. A nice beer-I would not really call it a cream ale but still enjoyable. Wish I had a six pack for summer.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spotted Cow is a beer I have always wanted to try, as I love all things New Glarus. I assumed I would get as an extra in a trade or just end up passing through Wisconsin and trying it. Instead, I surprisingly found it in my buddy's fridge in Boston.

Spotted cow has a lightly hazed, yellow body with a creamy white head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

The nose is very grainy and sweet; it smells quite a bit like a macro. Well, I would call it a “classy” macro, but it smells similar than a macro and better than a macro at the same time.

The taste follows the nose pretty closely. A big punch of sweetness is backed up by a grainy malt body. Pretty straightforward and simple.

Mouthfeel is a touch creamy with a lot of carbonation.

Spotted Cow is about what I expected: a step up from the macros, but similar enough to please macro drinkers.

Photo of Duff27
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled September 2011

A- Aggressive pours reveals a near two inch white head on an effervescence-filled pale golden body. Good head retention with average lacing.

S- Slight lemon zest...not really a lot going on with the smell.

T- Grainy/cereal characters. Pleasant lemony notes. Nothing offensive for sure.

M- Medium mouthfeel, very full though. Medium carbonation.

D/O- Nothing really sticks out about Spotted Cow and I think that's the point. An easy "every day" beer for the masses that most would agree is a half-step up on your common BMC-types. Gets an A/A+ for drinkability.

Photo of lurpy1
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wife picked this up on a border run to Hudson - thank wife!

Poured into a pint glass. First off, I expected this to be a cream stout, not a cream ale, so imagine my surprise when a light pale headless gold brew came rippling out of the bottle. "Well, that's a new approach to the style", I said. My reading comprehension never was very good. After shaking off the shock and adjusting my expectations, I moved on. Not an unattractive brew, but not particularly compelling either.

GOod noseful of wheat, yeast, a little bit of fruit. Taste is definitely subtle packaging of the above, although it stops well short of being bland. Little bit zingy in terms of carbonation, probably what NG was going for, but a little bit fizzy for my liking.

All in all, an extremely easy drinking beer. This is not a beer that aims to be spectacular, and isn't spectacular, but it's a pretty good everyday brew.

Photo of Dustysnail
4.8/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a Wisconsinite, this is a beer that you see in many taverns and restaurants. I've had this in bottles, in a keg, and on tap at many different places.

I must say, while it isn't my favorite beer, it is up on the list.

The finish is one of a wheat style ale, but drinks like a lager. While you have the taste, the texture and density of a thicker beer, the beer itself is light, but with a full body.

I highly recommend picking one of these up if you stop in Wisconsin.

Photo of amphion1065
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, one of many New Glarus beers sent to me by duffcalifornia. Reviewed from notes.

The body is a hazy shade of golden yellow. It actually looks pretty similar to a witbier. A fairly standard half-finger white head leaves fantastic lacing all around my glass.

It almost smells like a pilsner, with a bready, wheat-filled aroma. There's a slight citrus note, with a touch of lemon. Not a particularly aromatic beer.

The taste follows up pretty closely on the smell. Quite a bit of bread, with a biscuit-like flavor. Definitely some citrus zest, with plenty of lemon in the mix. A touch of malty sweetness in the back end, and no real bitterness to speak of.

Very pleasant mouthfeel, thin without feeling watery. An appropriately high level of carbonation adds to its drinkability.

The citrus fruit qualities add a layer of complexity to this easy-drinking cream ale. A beer I'd be proud to call a local favorite.

Photo of Nachojon
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy, corn yellow with frothy malt head.

S- Wheat and corn on nose, a touch of sweetness.

T- Starts sweet with passionfruit, apples, pineapple. Gets wheaty with corn and just the slightest bite of hops at the end.

M- Clean crisp, sweet and refreshing.

O- Good beer any time. Really just always a good experience. Loved it in college, love it now. A must have when in Wisconsin, wish I could have it more often.

Photo of mpcrump
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber color. At least 1 inch of head that slowly disappeared leaving some lacing.

S: Malts and biscuit with a hint of light fruit - bananas, pears.

T: Light malts. Light citrus as well. Tastes very good but this beer will not overwhelm any taste bud.

M: Light and creamy. Light carbonation as well. Very drinkable.

O: A very well tasting and mild beer. If you are looking for something strong this isn't it. Nice and light.

Photo of zimm421
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. Appears a slightly hazy golden color with an average white head. The head is fluffy, has great retention and leaves small amounts of lacing.

Nose is full of the expected corn, as well as yeast. There are some hints of citrus. Aroma isn't overwhelming, but smells pretty decent. Taste is pretty plain. Corn, yeast and a little spiciness. This is refreshing, but don't expect a ton of flavor out of it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, below average carbonation and very drinkable. Goes down smoothly and easily. Overall, not bad, but not really impressed. Pretty average but it is definitely refreshing after a long day at work.

Photo of biggred1
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazed, pale yellow with a creamy off-white head. Sweet and corny, much like many old school macro lagers. Sweet butterscotch and sweet corn with untoasted grain and a touch of hop bittering in the finish. Pretty average fair here, not bad at all but not great at all. Somehow I remembered this beer being better than it is.

Photo of Corbet
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-looks like your typical cloudy microbrew.

S-tastes like beer

T-tastes like your typical major brand beer but a bit more flavorful and less watered down

M-a more full bodied major brand beer

O-Very easy drinking beer, flavored enough to enjoy while on the couch but nothing special. I must admit, I was expecting more from New Glarus, especially after hearing from friends how popular New Glarus is in WI.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-poured a slightly cloudy maize color with about a finger of head that faded to a small cap

S-not a lot of smell just a hint of some bready malt

T-banana is the first taste that comes to me but it is not really strong

M-starts out sort of creamy but after the head faded it was a little watery

O-not bad just a simple easy to drink beer maybe I was expecting more from this one though

Photo of HugePlume
2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a bright bubbly corn-yellow color. This was first cause for alarm of this hyped-up beer that I grew more and more dissappointed and leery of.

S- Smells like sweet mash, bread and musty hops.

T- This isn't good beer. More musty sweet mash. Finish is dry, which imparts a crude bitterness.

M- Mouthfeel is decent, carbonation good for a lighter brew, body is spot on but cant overcome the flavor shortfalls.

O- Don't believe the hype, this is not good. Go for the other new glarus brews, this is intended to appeal to Budweiser and Miller light drinkers. Overrated!

Photo of brstls4drmrs
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy, yellow, pine straw color with a 1" froth sponge head. A nice thick ring is left behind.

S - Very nice malt scents with some fruits in there that are pearlike and some hints of corn.

T - A nice creamy malty tone to it. Very interesting and quite delicious. Some banana taste with a little citrus zest in there too.

M - Very mild and exceptionally smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

O - A very nice refreshing type of cream ale. One I enjoyed very much and wouldn't mind getting more.

Photo of dmsohyea
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Zenadasman, thanks! 12 oz bottle to a tulip.

Pours out a lovely light honey orange color with a little over one finger head. Retention is OK and lacing is not good, but it's pretty.

Smells like bready malt and some biscuit. A good bit of yeast is present, a slight sour banana scent.

Tastes very mild with a small amount of hops and good malt profile. Orange and banana are subdued. Pretty tasty for a mild cream ale.

Mouthfeel is great. Very creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall a nice beer that I would love to have again.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale straw color with a nice soft bone white head.

Not much to the smell but corn and a light touch of white fruits.

The smell is also corn grain, some white fruits (pear, but that may be stretching it,) and a light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light bodied.

Overall, this is not a complex beer but always comes through in a pinch if I'm in WI for whatever reason. Anywhere that carries beer up there usually has this and it's a very respectable alternative to macros.

Photo of flyfisherfinn
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was the first New Glarus brew I encountered, many moons ago. Finally able to review this.

The color is a nice, cloudy yellow. Minimal head on the pour.

I noticed a slight lemon taste and odor to the beer, which gave it a wonderful summery taste.

The beer is very smooth and easy drinking as well.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, no freshness dating, and a thoughtful extra from Shango42.

Quite yellow in color, this beer looks bright and crisp. A head almost failed to form, though clean white bubbles ended up covering the top as the pour finished, quickly receding to a ring of large diameter bubbles.

The nose is rife with sweet corn and Pils malt like an all malt lager with just a little ale fruitiness, but also a lager-like cracker.

Flavor is right on the aroma's heels; sweet corn and elusive leafy hop. All is clean and unblemished other than I know New Glarus can do more.

The mouthfeel does find a sweet spot between tight, active bubbles and fizzing, light and substance.

While obviously executed excellently, Spotted Cow seems like a dumbed down craft beer. It reminds me very much of Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas that can be had for $2.99/6 at Trader Joe's.

Photo of Hachiman
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A light golden with fairly persistent white head and pretty fine lacing.

Smells lightly creamy and sweet.

Taste is more complex. Besides a hint of creaminess and malt sweetness, there's a slight fruity undercurrent and a pleasantly lip-smacking sourness.

Mouth feel is medium and a little sticky on the lips.

This is New Glarus's most popular beer, most probably because it's more sessionable than their more distinctive tasting brews. I would use it for that purpose if I lived in Wisconsin.

Photo of hardy008
2.58/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light yellow color with a foamy white head with average retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has grain, some sweet malt, a whiff of corn. Nothing too special here.

The flavor of this beer is pretty plain. Sweet malt, grain, some corn, and a bit of yeast.

Light to medium bodied, average carbonation, and underwhelming in almost every way. This is a pretty disappointing beer, from an otherwise good brewery.

Photo of mocktm
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bottle, thanks to Birchstick for this one.

Cloudy and a light gold hue, sticky white head with lasting retention. Looks mildly thick, and a bit creamy off the pour.

Nose is rather benign, some grain with a emphasis on lemon citrus; its rather clean, but at the same time carries a sweeter quality.

Tasty, creamy with a citric tang and coaxing hop presence. Bready and delicate, very well balanced on the palate.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, creamy, and effortless to drink; a reliable session beer that boasts splendid carbonation.

Worthy brew, something I would definitely buy to enjoy a few of in a night if it were in my distribution area, cheers!

Photo of Treebs
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a fluffy 1 finger white head that followed me down the glass as a subtle little pillow of film. Some splotchy lace.

S: I'm picking up notes of the expected corn-based malt but there is a nice light citrus note in there that makes it pretty pleasant.

T: Follows the nose pretty well. Corned malts with a little lemon and lime peel. Blends well together.

M: This is clean and crisp with a light body, but has a palate coating quality to it. Leaves a nice light fruit taste over the palate. Refreshing with high drinkability.

O: I thought this was a very refreshing brew and I don't understand all the hate. Definitely a huge step above an adjunct lager and I thought it was a nicely crafted brew.

Photo of Northsider
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in bottle.

My father was really pushing this one on me so I finally tried it. Actually, this is really decent beer for the summer. Light and crisp. Low bitterness. It's borderline Macro Adjunct but it walks the line finely and does it well.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yellow and hazy with a fairly short, half finger head, but it lasted nicely and left great thick sheets of lace on every sip.

Grains and just a touch of light fruits, some corn and floral components, along with a smidge of lemon peel rounds out the aroma.

Taste follows the smell pretty close. There's a nice grainy flavor and a touch of crisp hops, along with a nice floral component and some fresh lemon peel.

The body is pretty amazing, great smooth and creamy, yet plentiful carbonation, light and satisfying, thirst quenching body, with a slightly slick finish.

It's a rather nice brew, tasty and easy to drink, something I would certainly like to have again.

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 2,798 ratings.